The Braves are unlikely to get exactly what they want at the deadline. They’ve looked hard a Ryan Ludwick before but he stayed in Cincy, should they look again now.
The Rapidly Changing Market
Joel Sherman says the Braves are working on a deal.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 31, 2014
I wrote yesterday that I think Chris Denorfia is past his sell by date as a fit in Atlanta but when he needed a leadoff man centerfielder in 2010 Frank Wren went for a light hitting former pitcher so who knows? Denorfia is a sold defender in all outfield positions though CF is a last resort. He’s fast and steals bases but his OBP dropped seriously over the last three years. What caught my eye was another veteran outfielder suddenly appearing on the market; Ryan Ludwick.
Ludwick has been a fixture in Cincinnati since 2012 when he put up .275/.346/.531/.877 line with 26 homers. Last season injury hurt his numbers and this season’s slugging numbers are down. His line is .261/.326/.394/.720 with just six home runs in just 78 games largely again due to injury. Ludwick is no longer an everyday player but he is a dependable left fielder who has an .801 OPS against lefties this year. The cost is a problem however.
Ludwick has just over two months left on a $8.5M contract with a $9 mutual option/ $4.5M buyout. The Reds would have to swallow a lot of that for the Braves to be involved. Braves payroll is so tight it squeaks when they write a paycheck. I don’t expect him to be considered because the time left to make a deal is so short. An August waiver wire deal might be an option if the Braves are still searching for a bat at that time.
All is quiet of the LOOGY front but that may be a contraindication as often things are quiet before a Wren trade. I’m sure the price is too high on Andrew Miller while Antonio Bastardo and Tony Sipp will be costly as well. That leaves Oliver Perez, James Russell, Wesley Wright and perhaps Mike Dunn as options. Time will tell if we get one now or wait for the waiver wire to give us an option in August.
There’s a rumor just flying around that a deal for Alex Rios (mentioned in yesterday’s story) is near being traded and a package deal for him and a guy Alan wrote about Neal Cotts could be very intriguing for the Braves.
On another note Peter Gammons just said on MLB network that there’s a feeling Frank Wren has to win as some of his well thought out moves have failed. If that is too happen they may have to trade from the 25 man roster, not something the Braves or anyone else has done in the past but seems to be happening this year.
This is a swiftly moving target but contrary to Gammons, I expect any deals made by Atlanta to be small. Of course Wren always does the opposite of what I think so who knows.